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Police: Passenger convinced her friend to drive drunk

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Danielle Ortiz told police she asked her friend Alexis Martinez to drive her and her children home after the women had gotten into an argument while drinking into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Ortiz said, at first, Martinez protested and told her friend she “loves her children” and didn’t want to drive drunk with them in the car.

Ortiz told police she was able to convince Martinez to drive and, soon after, police say Martinez crashed into a concrete barrier on Interstate 25, killing two of their children and leaving a third child in critical condition.

The details of what led up to the deadly crash were revealed in court records filed Friday after the women, both 23, were charged with two counts each of abandonment or abuse of a child resulting in death. Both are also charged with two counts of abandonment or abuse of a child resulting in great bodily injury.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:

Officers responded around 3:20 a.m. to the crash on northbound I-25 north of the Big I. Ortiz’s 2-month-old boy and Martinez’s 7-year-old daughter, Amariah, died at the scene.

The crash also left Martinez in critical condition, Ortiz’s 3-year-old – who was sitting on the floor in front of the passenger seat – with internal bleeding and Martinez’s 2-year-old with a broken clavicle.

The investigation showed Martinez was speeding on the ramp from westbound Interstate 40 to northbound I-25 when the car “left the roadway, became airborne” and crashed into a concrete barrier.

Martinez was intubated at the hospital and couldn’t speak with police, but officers smelled alcohol coming from her facial area. Ortiz told police the two women had been drinking at Martinez’s house around midnight when they got into an argument.

Ortiz told police she was “able to convince” Martinez, and they loaded their children into the car – two in car seats, one in a seat belt and one of Ortiz’s children on the floor in front of the passenger seat.

Ortiz said as they traveled west on I-40 the two women started arguing again and Martinez began driving “very fast” as they approached the on-ramp to I-25.

“(Ortiz) stated that all she remembers is traveling up the on-ramp to I-25 northbound and striking the barrier,” a detective wrote.

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